About Us

(this page is still being corrected, so apologies for mistakes and omissions)

Formed as a foursome in 2001 to raise money for local schools by Nick Pratelli (keys and trumpet), Mike Hanson (guitar), David Jillings (drums) and Paul McArdle (bass and vocals) the group made a popular start.  They quickly added Katrina (?) on saxophone and when Paul McArdle dropped out Dagenham Dave (?) took over vocals and Paul Lole brought his bass.  Soon after that Steve Buckerfield (guitar and mouth harp) and Dave Bostock (tenor sax) swelled the numbers.  By this time the band was playing regularly in the Kingston area, particularly in the Willoughby Arms, and had adopted its signature brass sound.  The vocals were soon taken over by Marcus Foster who had already made a few guest appearances.  The band had played under various names but around 2004 they settled on Bourbon Street Revival.  Under the new name they became the first band to play in the new Rose Theatre in Kingston upon Thames, helping to raise money before fitting out the building was completed.  This was the first and (so far) only time they brought one of their motorcycles on stage with them.

The line up continued to develop as Katrina and Paul Lole (bass 2) moved away.  “Columbian” Ron (?) arrived on bass (No. 3).  Appearances at the Willoughby were for many years a regular outing and the pub became the groups base as it was home for most rehearsals.  Ron was replaced by Scottish Dave (bass No. 4) and the line-up further expanded by the baritone sax of Mark Yeadon (?).  2007 was time for yet another bass change with Paul Watkins arriving, although not from far as he was another Norbiton boy along with Jillings and Pratelli.

The line-up remained flexible and a number of friends joined in on several occasions, notably James Varley on mouth harp and Lucy London on vocals.

By 2008 the songwriting of Hanson and Pratelli, with Foster adding lyrics in his own distinctive style, was bearing fruit and their first songs became part of the set.  Killing Time, Ain’t No Use, Nine Minutes and Promised Land were regular favourites.

The album…

Having been settled for a while it was time for more change when MArk Yeadon and Paul Watkins left in 2013 (?).  Dianne Highet soon brought the brass section back up to strength on tenor sax.  For a year or so another Norbiton local, Mick Anker of the Blow Monkeys, subbed in on a regular basis.  Then in 2014 BBC Producer Paul Long tipped off colleague Rupert Flindt that there was a vacancy for a bass player in his neighbourhood, and bass No. 7 arrived on the scene.

As venues grew is size so did the line-up, with guest appearances on backing vocals from the “Bourbonettes” Kate Jillings and Evelyn Cools at the Magic Theatre, 100 Club and Ealing Blues Festival in 2015 and 2016.